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ISKCON Studies Conference 2013

We are pleased to announce the fourth ISKCON Studies Institute Conference, taking place on October 19-21, 2013, at Bhaktivedanta College, in Radhadesh, Belgium. With this conference we will be commemorating the 175th anniversary of Sri Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s birth year, and the 100th anniversary of his disappearance year.

We, the ISI organizing team, cordially invite you to attend this event as an opportunity to thoughtfully explore various dimensions of the Caitanya Vaisnava tradition with our presenters.

As in previous years, the ISI Conference is organized as a formal academic forum, in which scholars (both “insiders” and “outsiders” to the tradition) present papers on topics relevant to the study of ISKCON and the Caitanya Vaisnava tradition. This year, in addition to the theme of Bhaktivinoda Thakura and his legacy, our specified theme is “Person and Community in Vaisnava Thought and Practice.” We have 14 scheduled speakers, all of whom bring their particular areas of academic study to bear on these themes (some more directly and some more tangentially--please see below the list of speakers [by professional name] and their presentation titles; presentation abstracts will be available at the conference). The conference will also include a session in which all participants can briefly present their own academic work and interests.

You can register for the conference online, at this link: . The conference fee is 40 Euros, plus accommodation, meals, and transportation (with varying prices, depending on options chosen (see details in the registration link). For booking your accommodation in the Radhadesh guesthouse, it is essential that you register early – at the latest by August 30 and preferably earlier. 

Don’t forget to write the dates for the conference into your calendar – October 19-21 – and be sure to book your transportation early. We look forward to seeing you in Radhadesh!

With best wishes, the ISKCON Studies Institute Team

For specific questions about the conference, please contact Krishna Kshetra Das:

For questions about transportation and accommodation, please contact Anupama Dasi:

Please also check the ISKCON Studies Institute website for any updates (after July 15):


  • Jan Olof Bengtsson (PhD, Lund University, Sweden) – Personalism East and West
  • Måns Broo (PhD, Åbo Akademi, Finland) – “In Search of a Modern but Authentic Spiritual Persona: Notes from Swami B. H. Bon’s ‘On the Way to Vaikuntha’”
  • Jessica Frazier (OCHS, U. of Kent) – “Rupa Gosvami’s Dramatic Vedanta: The Divine Person as Protagonist, Place, Plot, and Pleasure”
  • Abhishek Ghosh (PhD candidate, University of Chicago) – “Bhaktivinoda Thakura: A Thinker and his Legacy”
  • Przemysław Jaźwiński, (PhD, Chodkowska University, Warsaw) – “Church-State Relations in Late Medieval Odisha: King Prataparudra and his Involvement with Caitanyaite Vaisnavism”
  • Janne Kontala (Åbo Akademi, Finland) – “Assessing the Commonality and Individuality of Worldviews within Krishna Consciousness”
  • Rembert Lutjeharms (PhD, OCHS, Bhaktivedanta College) – “Caitanya’s Companions: The Gaura-ganodesa-dipika and the Early Caitanya Vaisnava Community”
  • Kiyokazu Okita (PhD, Kyoto University) – “Defending the Tradition: A Historiography of Gaudiya Apologetics”
  • Alysia Radder (completing MA, U. of Florida) – “Is Spaghetti Vedic? Constructing a Community Meal in the Hare Krishna Movement”
  • Ferdinando Sardella (PhD, Uppsala University) – Gaudiya Institutional Developments After Bhaktivinoda Thakura
  • Shaunaka Rishi Das (Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies) - The Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies: Past, Present, and Future
  • Paul Sherbow (Independent Scholar, New York) – Reflections on Vaisnava Scholarship
  • Kenneth Valpey (PhD, OCHS, Bhaktivedanta College) – “The Caitanya-caritamrita as an Exploration of Personhood in Devotional Community”
  • Lucian Wong (D.Phil. candidate, Oxford University) – “The Tensions and Transitions of Bhaktvinoda Thakura”